Dictionaries shy away from including many obscene words but you will find “illegitimate” in all of them. It is disgraceful to call any child “illegitimate” regardless of their parentage. The word may be official terminology for anyone born out of wedlock but it still stinks. Who are we to claim that our fellow citizens lack legitimacy?
Society has made progress removing stigma for this particular group of children but ugliness is raising its head again in the IVF debate.
Couples who have been through incredible heartbreak and pain to be rewarded with the joy of a baby have been told by the Church that their joy is “morally wrong.” And children born through IVF apparently needed to be told they were “still the children of God” just in case they feared they were the Devil’s children presumably.
Hundreds of Maltese children exist today because of IVF, but some of them would not if the Government’s proposed law had been enacted years ago. The respected pediatrician, Chris Fearne, summed it up when he asked “would you go up to a mother cuddling up to a three-month-old baby and say this bill is going to make it illegal for you to have a child like this again?”
Politicians and clergy like to talk of the importance of family life but then discard families they disapprove of. All children matter. And they are all legitimate.